Archive for Future Cars

Next-Generation Ford Fusion Carries Autonomous Technology

Ford debuted its first modern autonomous prototype three years ago but, despite the time lapse, the design hasn’t changed much. Looks don’t say much when it comes to autonomous technology, though. The American automaker is still shooting to produce autonomous vehicles for ride-sharing services by 2021.

The Detroit-based automaker plans to launch a new set of autonomous prototypes to increase its current fleet from 30 to 90 cars. All models will be based on the Ford Fusion hybrid.

Considering that Ford has largely invested in the autonomous midsize sedan, it wouldn’t be surprising for the next-generation Ford Fusion to be the first model to debut with the advanced technology.

The automaker invested around $75 million into Velodyne and continues to use the Lidar sensors. The sensors are near the A-pillars above the side mirrors. From those spots, the sensors provide a full 360-degree view.

What can easily be mistaken for roof racks carrying skis are actually three cameras that look forward, sideways, and backwards. Those cameras come in addition to the camera behind the windshield that watches for traffic signals and pedestrians. Radar sensors of varying ranges will help keep the vehicle on track in all weather conditions.

We here at Sanderson Ford can’t wait to see what developments continue to come out of the new prototypes!

Next-Generation Ford Fusion

2015 Ford Mustang Specs Released

2015 Ford Mustang

The much awaited specs for the 2015 Ford Mustang have just been released and will not disappoint! The Mustang has been an iconic pony car for decades and has a strong following with many admirers, so it is crucial that is comes out on the top of its game.

With a 5.0-liter V8 engine under the hood, this pony car will get as much as 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Other engine options include the 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost, and the 3.7-liter V6.

Ford has done a drastic redesign on the 2015 model which will have a new suspension that features an independent rear setup, heavier brakes, and an upgraded infotainment center. Who doesn’t love a good infotainment center?

Many of the performance figures that have been revealed were better than Ford had originally projected. Ford’s Special Vehicles Team is still at work so keep check for more 2015 Ford Mustang updates.

How Would You React to a Talking Car?

talking car

If you just strolling down the streets of Australia and a randomly parked car started talking to you, how would you react?  Would you ignore it?  Take it in stride?  Think you had lost your mind?  Well if you are anything like these Aussies, it appears you would think a talking car is pretty much the norm.

So not only does this car start speaking to you, but it asks you to get in, call a celebrity, and tell them a joke.  Quite a bold suggestion from a talking vehicle, don’t you think?  But these Aussies excitedly accepted the challenge and appear to be pretty game to step into the talking car.

As you will learn in the video below, this Ford EcoSport compact crossover doesn’t exactly have its own voice and personality, and is instead being voiced by comedian and impressionist, Anil Desai.

We think it would be kind of cool to have a talking car, maybe something even more advanced than Apple’s Siri.  What do you think it would be like to own a vehicle that had its own personality?  At Sanderson Ford, we understand that you probably already feel that your Ford is part of the family, but this could make it feel like your very own.

Ford Developing Fully-Automated Parking Technology

1964 Ford GT40

Fully-Automated Parking TechnologyFord Motor Company has recently revealed details on a new technology that will change the way we park forever. The new fully-automated parking technology could potentially allow drivers to park their Ford with the push of a button!

“Parking in today’s cities can be stressful and difficult,” explains vice president of Product Development at Ford of Europe, Barb Samardzich. “We want to make it as easy, efficient and accurate as possible – and that means exploring new concepts and approaches.”

Fully Assisted Parking Aid, while currently only developed as a prototype, controls vehicle steering, gear selection, forward and reverse motion. Ultrasonic sensors used in the system would be able to detect a suitable parking space. Once in neutral, the Full Assisted Parking Aid system takes control and parks with ease.

Can you image? Not having to worry about parking too close from the line, too far from the curb, plus not ever thinking about parallel parking again? Watch the video below to see Fully Assisted Parking Aid in action and keep in touch with Sanderson Ford for the latest details.

Ford Reveals 2013 Fusion and Makes Big Announcement in Detroit

Ford made a big splash at the North American International Auto Show this week with the official debut of the 2013 Ford Fusion. The automaker also announced plans for a plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi a few months after the Fusion arrives in showrooms.

2013 Ford Fusion

The 2013 Fusion joins many other sedans in offering a 4-cylinder engine only. Other updates to the sedan include new styling that resembles a four door coupe more than a standard sedan and a multitude of standard and optional features. These features include the latest version of SYNC with MyFord Touch, BLIS, SOS post-crash alert, and an optional lane-keeping aid.  A hybrid model of the Fusion will also be available, with a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine, based on the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

While news of a redesigned Fusion has been floating around for months, the announcement of the Fusion Energi took everyone by surprise.  According to Ford, this PHEV will receive an EPA fuel mileage estimate over 100 MPGe. The Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid will go on sale about five months after the Fusion’s release in late summer or early fall of this year.

2013 Cobra Jet Mustang

Ever since it was introduced at the NHRA Winternationals in 1968, Ford’s Cobra Jet Mustang has created a legacy of power, performance and triumph. That legacy was renewed in 2008 when Ford Racing offered a limited run of the 40th Anniversary Cobra Jet Mustang that quickly sold out. Subsequent 2010 and 2012 model year offerings of the Cobra Jet have proved just as popular.

The 21st century CJ has carved its own legacy at drag strips across the country, becoming the winningest late model in NHRA with national event wins in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and numerous class records this season alone.

 

On Friday Dec. 2, Ford Racing unveiled the 2013 Cobra Jet Mustang at the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando, Fla.

With more than three seasons of testing, racing and customer feedback, the 2013 Cobra Jet marks the continued evolution of the factory-produced turnkey race car. Designed for NHRA Stock and Super Stock competition, the 2013 model is better than ever and features the latest drag racing technology for greater speed and consistency.

“The 2008 Cobra Jet is a great car. It does everything we wanted it to do,” said George Goddu of Ford Racing Performance Group. “We’re really proud of that car, but we improve with each new Cobra Jet offering and 2013 is no exception.”

The 2013 Cobra Jet offers two 5.0-liter Ti-VCT engine options. Customers may choose a naturally aspirated engine with Cobra Jet induction system, CNC ported heads, high-lift cams and low-drag accessory drive, or a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharged version with CNC port-matched manifold and heads, and a proprietary 10-rib supercharger drive system for high-rpm use without belt slip.

“The 5.0-liter has all the attributes to make a world-class drag racing engine and is ideal for the Cobra Jet,” said Goddu. “Both the naturally aspirated and supercharged engines will be competitive as delivered.”

Additionally, the 2013 Cobra Jet chassis has been improved. Lightweight body modifications give better weight distribution and electricpower steering provides better driveability without parasitic horsepower loss. A new roll cage design is optimized for safety and chassis rigidity while the brake pedal ratio has been revised for more modulation and stopping power. And the rear suspension geometry delivers faster and more consistent 60-foot times.

The 2013 Cobra Jet is priced to be the best value, with an approximate MSRP of $86,000 with the naturally aspirated engine option and $93,000 with the supercharged engine. Additional options and pricing will be announced in January 2012.

Like many of Ford Racing’s previous turnkey race cars, the 2013 Cobra Jet Mustang will be built at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Mich. Production of Cobra Jets will commence in June 2012, with delivery of all vehicles expected midsummer 2012.

Cobra Jet components will be available through Ford Performance Parts, allowing racers to upgrade their Mustangs to Cobra Jet specifications.

2013 Cobra Jet production is limited to only 50 units and orders placed through Ford dealers will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. (Part number M-FR500-CJ.)

Finally, all Cobra Jet fans can help choose the color of the 2013 Cobra Jet – classic white, silver or black – by voting online at www.fordracing.com. Voting ends Dec. 31, 2011.

MyFord Touch Upgrade Coming Soon

Ford customers said MyFord Touch could be faster and feature simpler graphics that are easier to use and that’s exactly what Ford plans to deliver with a broad set of performance upgrades to the system – launching first on the new 2013 Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus.

Available early next year – and offered at no charge to existing MyFord Touch owners – the software upgrade enhances the ownership experience as it was developed by listening and responding to customer feedback.

 “SYNC has clearly been a game-changing technology and now we’re changing the game again, showing how quickly we can deliver more of what customers really want,” said Graydon Reitz, director, Ford Global Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. “Our strategy to create the SYNC software platform and add the customizable screens of MyFord Touch gives us a level of flexibility and speed to respond to customer input like never before seen in the auto industry.”

 The new touch-screen interface features simpler graphics and controls that are easier to use. Customers will also experience significantly faster touch-screen response times, one of the top requests from owners.

 New features include support for tablet devices and Audible.com audiobooks, improved navigation maps and enhanced voice recognition interaction.

 For a video demonstration of the improvements, please visit: http://youtu.be/c3k4iDZyhYE

 Listening to customers

Since MyFord launched last fall, Ford has held four customer clinics in which hundreds of owners talked directly to Ford engineers about their experiences with the new technology. Owner feedback was clear and consistent, revealing that MyFord Touch was a key purchase reason.

 A survey of 2011 Ford Edge owners shows that four of the top seven purchase reasons were elements of the MyFord Touch system: the touch screen, steering wheel controls, voice recognition and dashboard styling.  While owners reported that they love the system, there were distinct areas where they wanted improvements. Earlier this year, Ford started delivering on their requests, beginning with more instructions and information on how to best utilize the capabilities of the system.

Ford launched two programs modeled after what consumers experience when purchasing a new electronic device. First, the company added a new MyFord Touch owner support website featuring how-to videos at www.syncmyride.com. Second, free “SYNC My Ride” personalized training sessions for new owners are now offered through Ford dealers – scheduled at customers’ convenience.

 “The keys to continuous improvement are simple: Listen, learn and respond. That’s how we’re going to keep our customers happy,” said Gary Jablonski, manager, SYNC Platform Development. “Evolving the software with meaningful enhanced features was part of our plan from the very beginning. It’s no different than the experience with our smartphones and laptop computers – except now, it’s your car that gets better.”

 Upgrade your ride

All of the new improvements will be offered to existing owners of MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles, including the 2011 and 2012 models of Ford Explorer and Edge and the 2012 Focus.  

“We’re seizing the opportunity to continuously improve the Ford ownership experience, and revolutionize what it means to own a car,” said Reitz. “Introducing new technology is only one step in our journey to become known as a technology company. Consistently improving it based on what our customers are telling us marks another milestone in that journey.”

 Early next year, owners located in the U.S. will be mailed a USB flash drive with the software upgrade for installation that they can do at their own convenience. If they prefer, owners may also visit their local Ford dealer for the software installation. The upgrade mailing will include instructions informing owners how to simply plug the USB flash drive into the MyFord Touch Media Hub’s USB port in order for installation to automatically begin.

 New look

The visual enhancements to MyFord Touch are based on simplifying the graphics with larger, bolder fonts, removing low-priority visual content, and designing screens based on a consistent pattern. More than 1,000 screens in total have been updated with the improved look.

 “Our goal when designing the upgrade was to simplify the screens and give customers a fast and easy way to get information at any given moment,” said Jennifer Brace, User Interface Design engineer for Ford. “That meant removing buttons, relocating high-use controls closer to the driver’s reach, simplifying tasks and improving font size.”  The new fonts are as much as 40 percent larger on some redesigned screens. The fonts also are wider and bolder to provide easier legibility, particularly among the rapidly increasing number of drivers age 60 and older.

 New features

Ford also took the opportunity to update the performance of the system and add new features for customers to help them keep pace with the fast-moving consumer electronics market.

Faster touch-screen response time, for example, was a key request from owners. Initial testing shows that touch and voice response is at least two times faster than the current system.

 Also, the software upgrade includes the following enhancements:

  •  Improved voice recognition experience
  • Quicker voice recognition and faster command prompt when the voice button is pushed
  • Voice commands used in conjunction with navigation are simplified through elimination of the need to provide street direction, e.g., “Main Street” instead of “North Main Street”
  • Music requests are simpler by removing the need to include the additional song, album or artist information
  • Customers can find their favorite sports team in action via new Sirius Game Finder simply by saying a command such as “Tune to Detroit Lions game”
  • Tablet device compatibility
  • Music and other media content from most popular tablet computers like the Apple iPad can now be accessed through a simple USB connection
  • Audible.com audiobook support
  • Listen to Audible.com content using voice commands or the easy-to-use touch-screen controls
  • Connected navigation powered by TeleNav features new map data by NAVTEQ
  • Updated map views are richer and feature more 3D landmarks
  • Views of freeway junctions and signs are enhanced through photorealistic screen images
  • Smart routing options are provided based onhistorical traffic patterns
  • Phone compatibility
  • Automatic Bluetooth connection upon vehicle entry has been improved
  • Noise and echo cancellation during phone calls has been improved
  • Gracenote® album cover art database
  • Inclusion of the latest music metadata available enhancing the music playback experience
  • Improved voice recognition for music search allowing drivers to pinpoint artists with hard-to-pronounce names or nicknames

All New 2013 Ford Escape

All-New Ford Escape:

 Smarter, Saves Fuel &

 Money 

Ford’s newest SUV arrives next year, bringing clever technologies and features designed to make life easier, and fuel economy projected to top any vehicle of its kind on the market.

Versatile vehicle features new hands-free technology – including liftgate with motion-sensing technology similar to video games’ and upgraded MyFord Touch system that makes connecting with digital devices on the go even easier.

New Escape’s projected fuel economy is up to 5 mpg better than outgoing Escape; 1.6- and 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines save customers fuel and money.

The Ford Escape, America’s best-selling SUV, will raise the bar even higher with the debut of an all-new model that features 11 new exclusive features and fuel economy projected to top any vehicle of its kind on the market today.

“We call our all-new Ford Escape the ‘Smarter Utility Vehicle’ because it offers the strengths that customers today really value – fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving and living with the vehicle easier and more fun – all wrapped in a sleek, more modern design,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Ford understands that more people every year are looking at vehicles like Escape, and we want to give them even more reasons to buy.”

“Escape is America’s best-selling utility vehicle, and the Ford team has worked hard to make sure we deliver even more of what small SUV owners really want,” Kuzak said.

In addition to more cargo volume behind the first and second rows than today’s vehicle, the new Escape delivers:

  • Eleven features no other small SUV offers
  • Clever technologies that make Escape even more versatile, including an available hands-free power liftgate that allows quick and easy access to cargo with the kick of a foot
  • Projected best fuel economy of any compact SUV, up to 5 mpg better than previous Escape
  • Driving dynamics that make the drive experience more engaging on-road and a new Ford Intelligent 4WD System that provides even better traction off-road
  • Sleek new design, with better interior materials and more finishing touches

Escape technology makes life better
An array of clever technologies adds to the new Escape’s versatility, helping make life easier for its owners. Key features include:

An available hands-free power liftgate brings new technology to the SUV market and is enabled by motion technology used in today’s video game systems. A gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob. This allows quick and easy access to the cargo area without needing to set down packages or dig out keys. The same process closes the hatch.

SYNC with MyFord Touch, offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control information through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs. Upgraded system includes new look, making phone, navigation, entertainment and climate controls even easier to use.

Parallel parking the Escape is virtually stress-free with active park assist. With the press of a button, the system detects an available parallel parking space and automatically steers the vehicle into the space. Drivers control only the gas and brake pedals.

Maneuvering parking lots and traveling open roadways becomes even safer and less stressful with Escape’s sensor-based BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert. BLIS displays an alert in the side mirror when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert warns if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when Escape is leaving a parking space in reverse.

The all-new Ford Escape is the first Ford SUV to combine class-exclusive technology to  automatically slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast (Curve Control) or help accelerate through a turn (Torque Vectoring Control); a new Intelligent 4WD System helps deliver outstanding handling on pristine pavement and in adverse conditions as well, along with  excellent traction off-road.

Spirited performance with outstanding fuel economy
Escape offers Ford’s broadest nameplate range of EcoBoost engine choices yet. Strong fuel economy comes from either the available 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine or 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine, which makes its American debut in the new Escape.

Both new engines combine EcoBoost’s core technologies of direct fuel injection and turbocharging and add twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to deliver even better miles per gallon and save customers money on fuel.

In Escape, EcoBoost engines are mated to specially calibrated, six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmissions, which are standard and allow drivers who want more hands-on experiences to manually control gear selection from a switch on the left-hand side of the shifter.

The gearbox features a new torque converter for improved driving feel, silky smooth shifts and even better fuel economy. Engineers also installed revised gear ratios for a balanced driving feel in all situations.

The standard engine in North America is an updated 2.5-liter, giving the new Escape a comprehensive lineup of four-cylinder offerings. It also is matched to a SelectShift Automatic six-speed.

Also aiding fuel economy is Escape’s sleeker design. The new model is nearly 10 percent more aerodynamic than the outgoing model.

Plus, the new Escape’s active grille shutter system, which is on all models with the 1.6-liter EcoBoost and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, reduces wind resistance. Grille slats stay open when extra engine cooling air is required, such as low-speed stop-and-go driving. When cruising on the highway at steady speeds, the grille slats automatically close to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

Versatility and capability come standard
Stowing and towing are even easier in the new five-passenger Escape, thanks to a low liftover height of 27 inches, more innovations and cargo volume that surpasses the outgoing Escape – with 68.1 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 34.3 cubic feet behind the second row.

The new Escape’s rear seats have been designed to fold flat easily. With the touch of a button, the head restraint folds down and with the lift of a handle on the seat, the seatback folds and dives as the seat folds flat and clicks into position.

Escape also features an available two-position load floor, which can be configured to allow the customer to choose among maximum luggage volume or flat load floor.

When properly equipped, the all-new Escape maintains a trailer tow rating of 3,500 pounds.

Engaging driving performance through seamless system
Using new advanced software and sensors, the new Intelligent 4WD System analyzes data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle, assessing road conditions and driver input 20 times faster than the blink of an eye.

The system uses all the sensor inputs to turn the vehicle in the direction the driver wants it to go. Intelligent 4WD builds on the pre-emptive actions by adding and subtracting torque as needed through an electromagnetic clutch.

SEE THE PHOTOS HERE

New Mustang Customizer Website

Ford is putting design in the hands of enthusiasts with a new customizer website that features the 2012 Mustang.

Ford launched the site at www.ford.com/cars/mustang to let Mustang enthusiasts take advantage of the classic design with limitless possibilities.

“This site lets Mustang fans customize cars to their heart’s content,” said Brian McClary, Ford social and emerging media specialist. “It’s a simple-to-use layout that lets users take the base design of Mustang and run with it.”

Users can choose to customize a Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302 or Shelby GT500. Their custom touch is blended with three different backgrounds – a dragway, cityscape or drive-in restaurant – along with five different angles from which to check out the design.

Accessories include body kits, wheels, decals, grilles and decklids, along with parts from Ford Racing Performance Parts and Ford Vehicle Personalization. Within minutes, several different looks can easily be created and saved as desktop wallpaper.

“Customers love to make Mustang their own, one that suits their taste; this is the perfect way to let them test out their design and imagine what’s possible,” said Jim Owens, Mustang marketing manager. “The interactive aspect also adds a whole new dimension and lets more people get in on the fun.”

The site also incorporates social media, as users can log in through their Facebook account and save and share all of the Mustangs they have created. A “battle mode” through Facebook lets users go head-to-head to see who has the best-looking car.

By posting their Mustang to their Facebook wall, users can accumulate votes that will be tallied on a leaderboard for others to check out. They can even identify a nemesis to go after in battle.

For those intent on making their custom car a reality, a downloadable PDF facility offers a detailed list of all the real parts used to create that particular virtual Mustang. The PDF is separated into three categories – Ford, aftermarket and concept accessories – and includes links to the applicable websites, making it easy for customers to start a conversation with their local Ford dealer.

Customize yours and then drop by Sanderson Ford and let us make it into a reality.

All Ford Show a Huge Success

Thanks everyone for the great success enjoyed at the October 2nd All Ford Show. There was a great variety of cars to look at and the largest spectator crowd we have ever had! Also, special thanks to the Wild West Mustangs of Arizona for running the lot and managing the show activities. We couldn’t have done it without their experience.

Here is a shout-out to all the first place winners-
John Rank, 1913 T-bucket
Joe and Janice Dean, 1913 Model T town car limo (also sponsor’s best award)
Keith Morse, 1954 Mercury Monterry
Ken and Kim Smith, 1970 Torino GT
Jack and Nancy Kennedy, 1934 5 window coupe
Steve Jones, 1965 Falcon
Craig Leach, 1919 fire engine
Justin Miller, 1969 F-100
Randy Bunner, 1965 Ranchero
Rich Heinz, 1957 Ranchero
Maryann and Chuck Buff, 2006 Escape Hybrid
Rick Grenger, 1967 Mercury Cougar
Jean Stuk, 1956 T-Bird
Neil Schrock, 1964 T-Bird convertible
William D. Rawlings, 1965 Mustang
West and Jo Young, 1970 Mustang Mach 1
Paul Osgood, 1988 Mustang
Rick Snider, 2003 Musyang Mach 1
Rick Shopmier, 1966 Mustang
Gary Barral, 1965 Mustang
Dwayne Kanar, 1998 Panoz AIV Roadster
Shelley Berman, 1954 Custom Liner
John Chavez, 1965 Falcon convertible

We awarded 2nd and 3rd places as well.

One of our employees shot a lot of great photos and you can see them on Photobucket by clicking HERE.

 

We’ll see you again next year!

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